Hydrometer: “Help, I’m drowning in here!”
Joe Brewer: “Don’t worry! I’ll try and get you out!”
Hydrometer: “But the opening to the carboy… it’s so small!”
Joe Brewer [to self]: “Godspeed little hydrometer…” as he slowly puts the airlock back on the carboy.
This happens all too often. We think we can take a hydrometer reading in a carboy and wind up putting our hydrometers in harms way, into a situation they cannot be rescued from. It’s easy to take a hydrometer reading when we ferment in a bucket, but not so much in a carboy. Once you drop that hydrometer in there, it becomes a high-stakes rescue to get it back out which rarely ends in success. So how do you take a hydrometer reading or get a sample if you’re fermenting in a carboy?
This is where the Wine Thief comes in. Don’t let the name fool you… it’s used just as much for beer as it is for wine. It allows you to easily take a sample directly from the carboy. You can then take a hydrometer reading right in the Wine Thief itself, and the hydrometer never needs to see the inside of the carboy. Once you’ve taken your reading, you can either return the sample back to the carboy, or if you’re like us, enjoy it on the spot. It’s a win-win.
What level of homebrewer would use it?
Most homebrewers who have made a few batches of beer will have a carboy. If you are thinking of giving this as a gift, find out first if they already have a carboy.
What does it look like?
The picture to the right shows what it looks like hanging on the wall in the store. I’ve also done a YouTube video that shows exactly how to use it.
How much is it?
What do I say when I give this gift to make me look super-knowledgeable?
“Now you can take samples and hydrometer readings while your beer or wine is fermenting in the carboy… and I’m always happy to help when it comes to sampling!”
Why will the person I give it to think I’m awesome for giving it?
Taking a hydrometer reading or sample is a real problem for people who use a carboy. The Wine Thief solves that problem, which makes it much more than a “nice to have” item. Once it’s used a few times, the person you give it to will wonder how they got by before without it.
Check out other ideas in our Bull City Homebrew Holiday Gift Guide. New stuff added every day!